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Analysing the analysts

Analyst group Gartner has been prominent on the conference front of late, cranking up its talk-fests in Sydney around outsourcing, application integration, data centres and security. Technology managers come from far and wide for the events, but are they worthwhile?

Analyst group Gartner has been prominent on the conference front of late, cranking up its talk-fests in Sydney around outsourcing, application integration, data centres and security. Technology managers come from far and wide for the events, but are they worthwhile?

I spoke with one IT worker this week who had flown from New Zealand for Gartner's data centre summit in Sydney. His company, with operations in Australia and New Zealand, saw plenty of value in flying him in for most Gartner conferences, he told me.

The conferences were usually relevant to his IT department, he told me, and offered good independent analysis. The company did not use Gartner's consulting services though.

What did bother him was Gartner's constant invention of new methodologies or 'buzzwords' (business process fusion, anyone?), which seemed to become obsolete every few years.

We discussed the competition, but my friend was not convinced that the IT arms of the mainstream business consulting companies were as good.

There are, of course, plenty of smaller, local consulting companies and independents, but I wonder how many of you have chosen to seek their advice?

Are they more familiar with the local industry, and able to advise you what impact a change in legislation might have on your business?

Or have you no reason to look for Gartner alternatives?